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Motivational Speaker

Motivational Speaker How to become one Salary, Skills

A Motivational Speaking career can prove quite fulfilling for people who like interacting and working with others: Inspiring others is the main answer to the question of what does a motivational speaker do?  Below the equally significant questions of “what is a motivational speaker” and “how to become a motivational speaker” are explored with considerable detail: This will allow the reader to walk about with a comprehensive understanding of what the career is and how to pursue it.

What Does a Motivational Speaker Do?

A Motivational Speaker is a job title that fits under the categorization of entertainer or performer. Inspirational Speaker and Keynote Speaker are alternative names for the job title Motivational Speaker. The job of the motivational speaker involves delivering speeches that serve to inspire, motivate, and give impetus to an individual or group. Usually, a motivational speaker has a background in the general topic of discussion and people consider the individual an expert within his or her chosen field. The goal of a Motivational Speaker is to change the audience’s perspective and to stir within the audience a desire to hone and use their abilities and unique talents to achieve dreams and goals, whether personal or professional.

Who is a Motivational Speaker?

Who is a Motivational Speaker

A motivational speaker uses the gifts of language and voice communication to stir one emotionally, psychologically or both and who encourages the audience to embrace behaviours that align with one’s desires, dreams, and goals. The change the speaker seeks to instigate can be personal or professional. As the average individual can easily be caught up in the trap of focusing on everything bad that happens in one’s life, the motivational speaker uses the power of persuasion to help the individual get out of the emotional rut: One preventing the individual from achieving a level of success or comfort.

Factors that influence the demand for Motivational Speakers include audience interest in the field the speaker specializes in, and experience of the speaker as well as his or her speaking skills. Since there is no direct path to becoming an inspirational speaker, launching one’s career can prove a struggle, but once a career is launched, the financial success associated with the position can prove considerable in some instances.

Motivational Speaker Job Description

The Motivational Speaker job description describes one is someone who is comfortable speaking to an audience and in sharing personal/professional experiences as the speaker offers inspirational advice, tips, and information. Some motivational speakers are experts in their selected field and so they serve as speakers at industry related conferences. Others may create other media-related information to share their inspirational/motivational message, like DVDs and books; the speaker may go on a tour for the purposes of promoting the inspirational material and lecturing interested audiences.

Some companies may choose to hire a motivational speaker as a special guest or keynote speaker, while other agencies might have the speaker fulfil a set number of speaking engagements. The greater the popularity of the motivational speaker the greater the likelihood the individual will end up creating DVDs and books or agreeing to participate in television appearances. A Motivational Speaker will rely on his or her data bank of accumulated knowledge and personal experiences to inspire or persuade others to be an agent of change, not just in their lives, but an agency of change in the larger community as well.

Motivational Speaker Duties and Tasks

  • Assisting people through inspirational, motivational, and persuasive means
  • Writing speeches or improvising speech
  • Sharing of personal and professional experiences when applicable
  • Motivating people in the different areas of life including financial, physical, social, spiritual and mental
  • Setting up and committing to speaking engagements

Skills Required

  • Oral and Verbal Communication Skills
  • Public Speaking
  • Speech Writing
  • General Presentation Skills
  • Writing
  • Business Management
  • Scheduling
  • Knowledge of Contracts
  • Marketing and Self-Promotion
  • Social Media Marketing

Working Conditions

The speaker and/or the speaker’s agent determine the hours for a motivational speaker that, for the most part, prove irregular and fall outside of the 9 to 5 pm time window. Being a motivational speaker requires travel, the scheduling of speaking events, and the performer must take time to write speeches and/or prepare for improvization. Successful, skilled speakers are necessary on a global scale, so travel is a heavy and demanding work requirement. During down time when not on the speaking circuit, a motivational speaker might write a book or work with a ghostwriter to produce a manuscript, create workshops and seminars, produce podcasts and videos, maintain a blog and interaction with fans and fulfil engagements for television slots.

The locations where a motivational speaker works differ. Speaking sites can be indoors or out and might include presenting a graduations ceremony or speaking in a boardroom. Motivational speaking can prove a high stress job for those individuals who do not care for being in the spotlight and it is not a job recommended for the introverted.


Motivational Speaker Salary

Motivational Speaker Salary

The motivational speaker salary will vary a good degree. Factors influencing the amount one makes includes job location, travel requirements, audience size, duration of engagement, type of engagement (For example, radio versus television interview), are some factors that can increase or decrease a motivational speaker’s salary.

How Much does a Motivational Speaker Make?

The answer to the question of how much do motivational speaker make” is, “It depends on experience and other work related factors.” The Motivational Speaker and website operator, Mike Moore, who operates Speak for Profit, indicates neophyte speakers might earn anywhere from $100 to $200 for a single speech, and in some instances the speaker gets reimbursed for job related expenses. After gaining about a year’s worth of experience and speaking regularly, skilled speakers can increase the income to $400 to $1000 per motivational speech. If delivering a seminar the individual can earn up to $2,000 per seminar and if performing for an entire day, speaking fees can range between $2000 and $2,500 for all day speaking engagements. As per information made available by The National Speakers Association (NSA), a 2004 survey reveals the organization’s members were making between $3,000 and $5,000 for speaking engagements. Eighteen percent of the participants in the NSA’s survey were making about $1,000 or less and three percent report making greater than $10,000 per presentation. Please note: The NSA’s survey only deals with members of the NSA and does not include any motivational speakers that are non-members. Please also note that a motivational speaker’s ability to make substantial income is based on the individual’s talent, speaking ability, and the willingness to pursue clients, make appointments, and meet all commitments accordingly.


$100-$200 per speaking engagement$400-$1000 per speaking engagement; $2,000 per seminar; Up to $2,500 for full day engagementsBetween $5,000 and $10,000 or greater for speaking engagements


Motivational Speaker Employment

Motivational Speaker Employment

A motivational speaker’s clients will vary; the same is true for the subject matter of speeches the individual must create for each speaking engagement. A cruise line, spa, health club, resort, large corporation, small business, government agency, or school might hire a motivational speaker for special events. Other common places a speaker might present talks include annual conferences, seminars, and workshops.  Sometimes the motivational speaker will work for one client on a repeat basis. The self-employed speaker will often work on one off projects as well. Somewhat motivational speakers might find permanent employment if they work for human resource departments and are hired to train and/or motivate new and existing personnel.
Specific information on job availability for motivational speakers is difficult to find; the backgrounds of speakers is so diverse, and speakers can work within a number of specialities, fields, and/or clients. For instance, many speakers have unique life lessons, philosophies, skills, or experiences that relate to the motivational material the speakers share with their audiences: Such audiences can include professionals, college students, teens, and children. The topics one can speak about are wide-ranging that it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive listing of potential topics here, but some examples may include things like spiritual pursuits, better health, conflict resolution, aggression versus assertiveness, self-esteem boosting measures, or increasing productivity at home, work, or both. Speakers may specialize in field like sales, sports, management, or marketing.

Initially, finding fulltime employment as the inspirational speaker can prove problematic. The self-employed speaker must establish a list of clientele and a targeted audience, and build a rapport and business relationship with his or her clients. Building up a client base ensures repeat business with some clients, and word of mouth marketing through recommendations. Establishing a foundation for a business in the speaking industry is a process that can take at least a year to begin, sometimes more. Many motivational speakers start out offering free speeches or talks at a low cost in order to establish a rapport with clients who could hire them in the future. As mentioned earlier, the motivational speaker is responsible for his or her own marketing, unless the speaker hires a publicity agent. To that end, the speaker might benefit from preparing packets containing informative material for potential clients. Such packets serve as a mini portfolio by providing clients with an introductory letter, resume, photo of the speaker, references, and/or a videotape serving as a demo the client can view before hiring the speaker.

Career advancement in will differ for every speaker in the industry. Once the speaker is more the spotlight and there is a high demand for the speaker, the individual is more likely to establish a full time practice with returning clientele. The work that the speaker does outside of speaking engagements is equally important to the speaker’s success. For example, Tony Robbins is an actor, self-help professional, and life coach, in addition to being one of the leading motivational speakers today: This allows for ample self-marketing and promotion while drawing in several sources of income.

Gender Distribution

Gender distribution percentages are hard to identify when in search of statistical information related to the motivational speaker occupation. Once again, the diverse nature of the job, the subject matter of speeches, the length of the presentation, job locations, and the specialties and skills of each speaker in the industry create a range too broad to identify exact percentages in relation to gender distribution with any degree of accuracy. Both men and women make for exceptional motivational speakers.

How to Become a Motivational Speaker?

How to Become a Motivational Speaker

For those who are interested in becoming a motivational speaker, there are no hard and fast rules regarding the motivational speaker education requirements in order to pursue a career as inspirational speaker. There are no specific training programs or college degrees designed for an individual to complete in order to position one’s self on a direct line to the career path of the motivational speaker. Nevertheless, there are some courses and college programs they can certainly make one’s career path easier to pursue by providing the individual with the skills one requires in order to achieve excellence in one’s profession.

A successful motivational speaker will have a unique point of view on a topic of interest and the ability to communicate that point of view to an interested audience effectively. Achieving audience engagement is critical to one’s success: This is why many professional speakers push for continual improvement of their communication and verbal skills, as well as one’s mastery of language. One’s career-related educational pursuits should also include regular specialty-related research: This will keep the speaker current with the latest industry knowledge while simultaneously empowering the individual with persuasive speaking abilities.

Motivational Speaker Education Requirements

Motivational Speaker Education Requirements

If the student realizes a desire to pursue a career as a motivational speaker while still attending high school, the student can take advantage of the time in school to focus on English classes. One can also engage in special groups that will allow the individual to grow accustom to being in front of an audience. Just participating in the school chorus, music program, drama club, and performing in concerts or school plays will help the individual build up self-esteem and confidence during a performance. Participating in debate teams is another way of learning how to hone one’s speaking skills while simultaneously mastering argumentative and persuasive capabilities; when participating in judged debates, it teaches the student how to handle criticism well and how to make the most of audience feedback.

A high school diploma is a recommended requirement for motivational speakers. The student should pursue English literature and composition classes, and one or more foreign languages while in high school. If public speaking, speech, and drama classes are available, the student should take full advantage of them. There are also opportunities to take even more courses that will help a future speaker, but such courses are dependent on what the individual plans to specialize in; for example, if a high school student plans to become a motivational speaker in the field of fitness, a focus on the physical fitness/gym classes in high school can prove beneficial.

Postsecondary educational training for the motivational speaker can include the completion of an English degree or a degree in communications. If the student has not taken a foreign language class in high school, the individual should finish at least one language class in college. One can benefit from taking public speaking courses, English classes, and creative writing classes as well. Outside of the school setting, writing workshops and seminars can also prove helpful in honing one’s speech writing skills. An individual can also consider joining a group like Toastmasters where one can work on improving gestures, movements, body language, voice, tone, unspoken conveyance, and speech writing skills.

The individual should take advantage of opportunities to work toward licensing and special certification programs. Once certified, it an individual can give clientele greater conference in your skills. You can become a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) through the National Speakers Association: This certification is for motivational speakers who have accumulated a good degree of industry-related experience. Certification qualifications require the speaker present at least 100 speeches to an audience consisting of 15 members or more. Certification by the association is also open to those who have worked with a certain number of clients or who have made a specific amount of earnings. Finally, CSP title is available to those who meet some, but not all, of the standards for completion certification.

Motivational Speaker Colleges

Since a master of the English language and exceptional communication skills will prove vital skills for the motivational speaker, the pursuit of a bachelor’s in English is a good educational path to follow. As per information made available on USAToday, the ten best motivational speaker colleges to pursue an English degree include the following colleges and universities:

  1. Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  2. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  3. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  4. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  5. Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  6. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  7. Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  8. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  9. College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
  10. Columbia University, New York, New York

Major Subjects

Wether a student begins to pursue a motivational speaking career in high school or college, a number of courses can prove beneficial to the student. Coursework should include classes of communication, English, verbal skills, typing, all writing courses, and classes where you are given the opportunity to give presentations in from an audience for classroom. Accessing free information made available from organizations that provide professional information and educational material on public speaking jobs, including Toastmasters or the National Speakers Association can also help further ones education and improve an individual’s on stage presentation. Pursuing a college degree in communications or English can provide the future of motivational speaker with a profound educational foundation.

Motivational Speaker Specializations

Motivational Speaker Specializations

Motivational speakers can specialize in a wide array of subjects. Some specialize in a topic based on life challenges, experiences, and obstacles they have overcome. Others have gone to college; studied different communication related arts and may speak on a lecture circuit because the public now identifies them as an expert in their field of study. Some of the common topics a speaker can specialize in include:

Business: Speakers working in this sector tend to work with human resources, new hires, and long-term personnel. The speaker often has familiarity with business operations, has been successful in the specific industry, and is now seeking to pass on his or her knowledge to others who can benefit from it. The goal of the speaker is to lift the spirits of workers by instilling enthusiasm so that people can work together with the common goal of doing a spectacular job.

Community: Motivational speakers may also deal with community events. These types of events are often an ideal time for sharing educational messages. Speeches should cause others desire positive action and to act on it. The subject matter of one’s speeches appeals to the interests of the larger community. For example, you might find one of these speakers at a rally.

Personal Development & Self Help: These two topics and specialties are huge in the motivational speaking industry. When motivating people with interests in such topics, the speaker is looking to help the individual discover life meaning, purpose, and/or spiritual understanding. Talks focus on identifying challenges and in overcoming the obstacles such challenges present.

Mentor for Youth: Such motivational speakers address the young and topics for discussion often include matters related to family, friends, getting a quality education, and developing a true sense of self. The talks one presents to the young often focus on self-discovery and discovering one’s life purpose.

Professional Associations of a Motivational Speaker

The National Speaker’s Association (NSA) delivers onto professionals in the speaking field mentoring, comprehensive resources and professional networking opportunities; all for the purposes of trying the help speakers become more effective, efficient, and exceptional.  Speakers can establish connections through participation with local or regional chapters. The organization has more than 3,500 members, which includes the likes of motivators, humorists, educators, trainers, coaches, consultants, authors, and thought leaders from around the world. If a person uses spoken language and words to make an impact on others, the NSA promises benefits with membership.

The NSA, one of leading associations of motivational speakers,  hosts learning events for speakers who are looking to improve speaking skills and to expand their career potential. The organization offers online classes for learning about the business in a virtual classroom. You can also gain access to Speaker Magazine, which is filled with insightful commentary and tips for leaders and the latest trendsetters in the business. For those speakers seeking some methods for potential career advancement, the NSA has also established the Certified Speaking Professional (CSPtm Designation):  This program gives speakers a professional edge by giving them a way to prove their commitment to excellence and the job.

Famous Motivational Speakers

Les Brown: Is among the famous motivational speakers: He is a former politician, television host, and radio DJ, author as well. At one time he was an Ohio House of Representatives member. When he was younger, he overcame so many obstacles, including being born in an abandoned building with his twin brother, being adopted and when entering grade school was deemed “educably mentally retarded.” Of course, such labelling would wreak havoc on a young child’s life, but Brown overcame all that faced him and today he teaches his audience methods for making personal dreams and goals come true.

Tony Robbins: Mr. Robbins is a self-help author, personal finance instructor, an actor, and an American motivational speaker. He has written several motivational books including “Unlimited Power,” and “Unleash the Power Within, and Awaken the Giant Within.”  As a testament Robbins’ success, in 2007 not only was he named on the Celebrity 100 list by Forbe’s Magazine, but he also brought in an income of $30 million the same year.

Motivational Speaker FAQ

What is the employment outlook for those in the field of motivational speaking?

Presently, the demand for professional speaker is high and the future prospects for motivational speaker career are looking excellent. The field is competitive in nature, so the speaker who is professional, but who also maintains a constant competitive edge, will find a good deal of career success and satisfaction. Much of the motivational material that targeted audiences respond to is self-help related: This industry is growing at a rapid and steady pace, so the need for motivational speakers will likely parallel the high demand for self-help material.

Are there other skills the motivational speaker can benefit from mastering?

One of the most overlooked but most important skills related to motivational speaking is the speaker’s ability to relate to and move the audience: The job requires the presenter, not just to deliver information in an informative and professional way, but in a manner where one’s speaking has an impact on the emotions of the audience. Words are chosen with great care:  Just as an artist is careful about the medium one uses, the speech writer works within a specific and related genre and uses creative writing skills combined with an effective and stirring delivery, gives the audience an inspired experience.


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  • I’m currently in high school and I like to give advice to people and I’m very good at English language and my stage skills are also quite good so I was thinking to pursue a career as a motivational speaker and the information provided in these article was quite helpful.

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